Research on video games has mainly focused on the violence and aggressive behavior of those who play them and the possible connection between the two in a causal relationship. The majority of the research supports the idea that those who play video games will become more aggressive and violent afterwards. This in turn has given the gaming community a brutal stereotype and stigma that affects parental views on video games for their children. This study attempted to address whether or not this is actually supported by empirical research as a warranted conclusion. To do this, participants were recruited to play two types of video games (violent or non-violent): Mortal Kombat vs. Mario Kart. An aggression questionnaire was provided to measure how aggressive participants felt before and after playing the violent or non-violent video game. Blood pressure and pulse were measured before and after game play as an indication of the level of physiological arousal. Results indicated that there was no significant difference in levels of felt aggression and physiological arousal between the two game conditions. This may suggest that felt aggression is not necessarily related to any particular video game or the degree of violent content found therein. Further research is needed to understand fully the influence of video game play on the development of aggression.

Keywords: aggression, video games, violent content


Casey, Michael




Social and Behavioral Sciences


aggression, video games, violent content

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2020 Nick Barto